The Visit (1964)

100 mins | Drama | 23 September 1964

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HISTORY

The 6 Feb 1963 Var announced that Bernhard Wicki was in talks with Darryl Zanuck from Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. to direct The Visit, based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s 1956 play, Der Besuch der alten Dame; eine tragische Komödie. Ingrid Bergman was already set to star in the adaptation, with a mid-summer 1963 start date anticipated. European locations were currently being scouted in Switzerland and Germany.
       The 27 Feb 1963 Var indicated that Raymond Pelissier was favored to co-star, but on 6 Mar 1963, Var reported that Anthony Quinn had been cast to play opposite Bergman. Production was set to begin on 1 Sep 1963, with locations in Yugoslavia. However, according to the 26 Jul 1963 DV, Quinn was scheduled to arrive in Rome, Italy, on 20 Aug 1963 to begin filming. The 31 Jul 1963 DV confirmed that production had been moved from Yugoslavia to Rome.
       Principal photography officially began on 10 Sep 1963, as announced in the following day’s DV. Production started at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios, as noted in the 18 Sep 1963 Var. Filmmakers were forced to change the film’s European working title to The Lady’s Vengeance (La Vendetta della Signora), as another film had already registered the title The Visit there.
       According to the 30 Sep 1963 LAT, which cited a production budget of $1.5 million, production was expected to continue at Cinecittà until Jan 1964. Exteriors were filmed in Capranica, thirty-six miles outside of Rome. The 5 Jan 1964 NYT reported that the fictional village of Guellen ... More Less

The 6 Feb 1963 Var announced that Bernhard Wicki was in talks with Darryl Zanuck from Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. to direct The Visit, based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s 1956 play, Der Besuch der alten Dame; eine tragische Komödie. Ingrid Bergman was already set to star in the adaptation, with a mid-summer 1963 start date anticipated. European locations were currently being scouted in Switzerland and Germany.
       The 27 Feb 1963 Var indicated that Raymond Pelissier was favored to co-star, but on 6 Mar 1963, Var reported that Anthony Quinn had been cast to play opposite Bergman. Production was set to begin on 1 Sep 1963, with locations in Yugoslavia. However, according to the 26 Jul 1963 DV, Quinn was scheduled to arrive in Rome, Italy, on 20 Aug 1963 to begin filming. The 31 Jul 1963 DV confirmed that production had been moved from Yugoslavia to Rome.
       Principal photography officially began on 10 Sep 1963, as announced in the following day’s DV. Production started at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios, as noted in the 18 Sep 1963 Var. Filmmakers were forced to change the film’s European working title to The Lady’s Vengeance (La Vendetta della Signora), as another film had already registered the title The Visit there.
       According to the 30 Sep 1963 LAT, which cited a production budget of $1.5 million, production was expected to continue at Cinecittà until Jan 1964. Exteriors were filmed in Capranica, thirty-six miles outside of Rome. The 5 Jan 1964 NYT reported that the fictional village of Guellen was built on the back lot of Cinecittà.
       The 18 Oct 1963 and 21 Oct 1963 issues of DV announced that Twentieth Century-Fox was only handling distribution but no longer production, which had been taken over as a joint Italian-German-French co-production. The 4 Mar 1964 Var explained that the picture included a French producer, German director, and an Italian crew, which often caused language barriers on set.
       On 5 Jan 1964, NYT indicated that principal photography had recently completed.
       The 22 Apr 1964 DV stated that The Visit was invited to compete in the Cannes Film Festival, to be held on 29 Apr—13 May 1964. Var reviewed the film at Cannes on 5 May 1964 (published in the 13 May 1964 issue).
       The 10 Sep 1964 LAT reported that The Visit would open in Los Angeles, CA, theaters on 23 Sep 1963. The 18 Oct 1964 NYT noted that the picture would open in New York City theaters on 21 Oct 1964. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 Jul 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
31 Jul 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Oct 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Oct 1963
p. 10.
Daily Variety
22 Apr 1964
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
30 Sep 1963
Section D, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
10 Sep 1964
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
24 Sep 1964
Section C, p. 17.
New York Times
5 Jan 1964
Section X, p. 7.
New York Times
18 Oct 1964
Section X, p. 9.
New York Times
22 Oct 1964
p. 44.
Variety
6 Feb 1963
p. 4.
Variety
27 Feb 1963
p. 21.
Variety
6 Mar 1963
p. 3.
Variety
18 Sep 1963
p. 15.
Variety
23 Oct 1963
p. 22.
Variety
29 Jan 1964
p. 17.
Variety
4 Mar 1964
p. 5.
Variety
13 May 1964
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Miss Bergman's ward des
Executed by
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
Mus comp & cond
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Der Besuch der alten Dame
eine tragische Komödie by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (Zurich, 29 Jan 1956)
adapted as The Visit
+
LITERARY
Based on the play Der Besuch der alten Dame
eine tragische Komödie by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (Zurich, 29 Jan 1956)
adapted as The Visit
a Play in Three Acts by Maurice Valency
New York.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Lady’s Vengence
Release Date:
23 September 1964
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 23 September 1964
New York City opening: 21 October 1964
Production Date:
10 September--late December 1963 or early January 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Les Films du Siècle
Copyright Date:
23 September 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29236
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
100
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Karla Zachanassian, reportedly the world's richest woman, returns to her birthplace, the small European town of Guellen. The people of the economically depressed town prepare for her visit, hoping that she will give them financial aid. She arrives in her Rolls-Royce, accompanied by bodyguards and a pet leopard. During a banquet in her honor, Karla shocks the townspeople by offering them $2 million to kill Serge Miller, the owner of the general store, who was once her lover. She explains that when she was about to bear his child, Miller bribed other men to testify that she was a whore, and she was run out of town. The child died, and Karla became a prostitute before marrying her wealthy husband. The townspeople are shocked by what they hear, but they refuse her offer. Later, trucks begin bringing valuable merchandise into Guellen, and soon the affluent townspeople come to regard Karla with more sympathy. When Karla's leopard escapes, the townspeople arm themselves for the hunt, but they are really hunting for Miller, who hides until the animal is killed. He begs Karla to put an end to her vengeful scheme, but she refuses. Miller tries to leave town, but the citizens prevent him. The town councilmen ask Karla to stop her persecution of Miller and invest in Guellen, but she informs them that she already owns all the town property. Finally, Miller is forced to stand trial, and he is sentenced to death. Karla announces that Miller will be freed if one man thinks his sentence is unjust, but no one speaks out. Then Karla instructs the court to free Miller, saying that her revenge will be Miller's living among ... +


Karla Zachanassian, reportedly the world's richest woman, returns to her birthplace, the small European town of Guellen. The people of the economically depressed town prepare for her visit, hoping that she will give them financial aid. She arrives in her Rolls-Royce, accompanied by bodyguards and a pet leopard. During a banquet in her honor, Karla shocks the townspeople by offering them $2 million to kill Serge Miller, the owner of the general store, who was once her lover. She explains that when she was about to bear his child, Miller bribed other men to testify that she was a whore, and she was run out of town. The child died, and Karla became a prostitute before marrying her wealthy husband. The townspeople are shocked by what they hear, but they refuse her offer. Later, trucks begin bringing valuable merchandise into Guellen, and soon the affluent townspeople come to regard Karla with more sympathy. When Karla's leopard escapes, the townspeople arm themselves for the hunt, but they are really hunting for Miller, who hides until the animal is killed. He begs Karla to put an end to her vengeful scheme, but she refuses. Miller tries to leave town, but the citizens prevent him. The town councilmen ask Karla to stop her persecution of Miller and invest in Guellen, but she informs them that she already owns all the town property. Finally, Miller is forced to stand trial, and he is sentenced to death. Karla announces that Miller will be freed if one man thinks his sentence is unjust, but no one speaks out. Then Karla instructs the court to free Miller, saying that her revenge will be Miller's living among the people who have killed him for money. Announcing that the visit is over, Karla leaves Guellen, taking with her Anya, a young woman whose life Karla fears may be damaged like her own. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.